John Piper began session seven by tying together all the solas beforehand under the beauty of the glory of God. Each of the solas fulfill the picture of God being most highly esteemed and glorified.
Why would he welcome them into his presence apart from their merit or causality on their part? Grace alone means grace alone minus my merit. No merit from us to commend us at all to merit worthiness. No decisive causality to merit. Only God’s decisive merit gives us justification, reconciliation, sanctification, and glorification. Any virtue rising in my heart does nothing to give me salvation.
Why did God plan that He would remove his wrath from his elect by faith alone?
The meaning of faith is total receiving of God. It is an open handedness that says I need Christ. I welcome Christ. It is an empty thing. God has respect to its emptiness in justifying us not according to works.
Why did God plan to remove us from his wrath on the basis of Christ Alone, not any priestly mediators, sacrifices, or sacraments? The intervention of Christ Alone is the negation of mediators, sacrifices, or sacraments.
Why did God plan and ordain to welcome us in as His elect as taught with authority in the Bible? It is not wrong to have teachers. But it is wrong for those teaching to overwrite the Bible. This is negation of the popes and creeds.
What’s all this about? Why did God undertake to remove His omnipotent fury against the race of Adam and welcome them into his presences? He did it this way so that he would get all the glory, so that he might be supremely exalted in your heart. That’s the number one reason you exist, to hallow God’s name. The reason that God did this is for His glory.
Let’s look at Scriptures that point us to this. Why did he predestine us? As far as grace goes, Ephesians 1.6 says he did it according to praise of his glory. Let’s look at faith in Romans 4.20. Faith glorifies God because he is trustworthy. Why Christ alone? In Ephesians 3.25 God puts Christ forward to receive the wrath of God and to show God’s righteousness.
Why was Christ alone put on the cross to bear the wrath of God? He did this to show that God is righteous. Why? God’s righteousness allowed in his forbearance to pass over sin. Sin is preferring anything to God. You black ball God when you chase after sin. So he puts Christ between God’s fury and you. Christ catches the wrath to show that He does not take the belittling of His glory lightly.
Why does he ordain that His Word be the only place that you with authority can find out about His faith, grace, and Christ? What does it mean that you have exalted your Word above you name? In the sense that your Word is exalted because it expresses your name. Without your Word people would not know your name.
So now that I’ve proved that all of the solas are an expression of God’s glory, let’s turn to Romans 11.33-36. I’m going to tell you the effect that the glory of God should have on you. I’m going to do this by telling you about how it affected Paul. This is Paul’s response to Paul’s theology. What I do with a text like this first is to sort out the foundational statements and what are the conclusions.
I used to do this with Romans 9-11 when I taught Bible College. When we concluded the semester of class with this passage, I would create arches over the sections of the passage. It would end with use seeing the supremacy of God’s glory. And at the end of class we would stand and sing the doxology because it so moved us to worship.
Here is the order of logic here. First, from him and to him are all things. Second, he is rich and unfathomly deep. Third, no one can give him a gift to be repaid. Fourth, no one can counsel God. Fifth, therefore, his judgments are unsearchable and inscrutable. Finally, to him are all things, to him be glory forever and ever.
All things work for His glory even the dice roll or the pull of a letter from a Scrabble bag. Yes, I believe in the infinite role of sovereignty. What should we think of a God who is so weak He can’t control the dice. What about Satan’s role? Yes, he is there. He is permitted to do what he does. There is a purpose for this in the world.
Whatever occurs God either does directly or permits directly? Romans 11.36 shows that this is the case. We can say that even evil is from Him. But let’s not say too much or be careless. In another sense, 1 John 2.16 points that not all things are from God. They can come from the world. What do we do with this? I take it to mean that the pride of life and such do not come from God’s nature or character. The darkness and unholiness of sin do not come from God. Pride and such comes from God in the sense that He is the decisive reason that they exist. He can stop them. He did that for me. He stopped that for me. He broke the power of those sins for me. One day in the twinkling of an eye sin will cease totally. You will be free from sin. If you cannot think through these distinctions you will throw your Bible away.
You can never give God what is already His. You are His. We are utterly owned by God. He owns us and this land. The breath we take is a gift. Every virtue we perform is a gift of grace. No one can give a gift to God who is a debtor. Do you see how that leads to the Glory of God?
No one can give counsel to God what He does not already know. No one has known the mind of God in such a way that you can make a contribution to His knowledge. The one thing that the world gives God most is the one thing that we can’t give him and that is advice. The world does not offer him hope or love. They offer him advice. God cannot be counseled. All things are from Him and through Him. It’s okay to ask God questions. Just watch your mouth. But He cannot be counseled. Don’t advise Him or threaten Him. All else is suicide.
His judgments are unsearchable and inscrutable are His ways. The Bible was written to begin to reveal the mysteries of God. The Holy Spirit was given to provide illumination so that we can live and die for Him.
To Him are all things, to Him be glory forever. What does this mean? God is infinitely glorious and God alone is to be supremely treasures as all glorious. To him belong all responses to His glory. He is the supreme object in the universe and he is to receive all our treasuring and affection.
According to God uniquely authoritative Word He has saved you so that you will treasure His glory alone as supreme. It is so that you will delight and be satisfied in Him. There will be other glories. You will be glorious one day, but will you treasure His glory as supreme. Do you value glory? That is something that you need to reflect upon right now. This conference’s vision is to do this. It exists so that there will not be a failure of people to supremely value God’s glory alone. Go and sow seeds with the people in your communities, in the little towns, in the big towns of this surrounding area. Let them know this about who God is and what God does.